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I looked at my wristwatch and the luminous hands pointed to ten minutes before six o’clock. That seemed about right because I had eventually left the guest house with the 04:45 pick up. My colleagues could not understand why I insisted on leaving before day break, especially considering my flight from the night before had not landed until almost midnight.

They would not understand even if I tried explaining to them, but I did not bother. I had promised Abdullah and that was all that mattered.

Two okada changes later, I was pulling up in front of the gate. I paid off the cyclist and, using my keys, let myself into the compound. As I walked past their window I called out softly “Neighbour,” I did not need to shout.

“Uncle Frankkie good morning,” his mother answered.

“Is Bubu awake?” I asked.

“Very soon,” she said. I chuckled at very soon, and then made my way to my apartment.


After her maternity leave, she had returned to work just before schools re-opened for the term. Since then I had been too busy to play school bus since my schedule had been all over the place, but when she asked me on Sunday if I was working on Monday and I said no, she asked if I could babysit Bubu till his school bus came for him. “But of course,” I had replied without any considerations. What was there to consider? I loved the little man as if he were mine and it was clear to all. We even had this thing where his mother referred to me as “My baby’s daddy” when referring to Bubu, and “My baby’s uncle” when she referred to her other son, Wareet.

Then I got to work and my other life kicked in; the worst aspects of it. My flight bagged delay after delay on every sector. We finally landed in Lagos at the end of four super long sectors of flying a little before midnight.

As I chucked off my uniform I wondered why I bothered undressing considering I would be up and out of the guest house in a few hours. I changed into the set of I always carried in my crew bag for days like this when a routine round trip could end up a nightstop away from home.

I set my alarm for 04:30, packed everything into my crew bag and my trusty backpack I take everywhere with me, then lay down. Despite my best efforts not to sleep deeply, the lights went out in my consciousness as soon as my head touched the pillow.

It must have been the need to pee, or just my internal clock but whatever it was snapped me out of sleep. I sat up straight and was looking round in the darkness wondering why I woke up when my phone alarm went off.

I scurried out of bed, splashed water on my face and brushed my teeth before joining my colleagues in the pick-up car.

About thirty minutes after I got home there was a knock on my door. I opened to see Bubu standing there dressed in his uniform looking real smart, his back pack slung over his shoulders, his lunch bag clutched in his right hand, and the biggest brightest smile plastered across his face. “Don’t worry neighbour, I will drop him off at school. No need waiting for the school bus sef.” I told his mom.

“He was vexing with you last night o when you didn’t come back. He thought you had promised and failed.”

That there, is one of the hardest aspects of parenting, if you ask me: being there for the little ones, or at least making them understand when you cannot be there.


PS: In the time since I last wrote about him, M.O.N.C has cut his first teeth and learned to crawl. Ok, a partial crawl: he goes on all fours, takes a tentative few steps toward the object holding his attention, then he stretches his fingers towards it, fingers that usually fall short. He flops down on his stomach and stretches. It’s the most beautiful thing to watch.

He has also learnt to work the female folk and he is milking this so much, I am embarassed! Wherever did he get that from?

Whenever his name is called, he darts his head in the direction of the voice – usually female – and, once he makes eye contact he smiles a smile so sweet, even my heart turns to mush. Then when I am holding him, every chance I get, I tell him how much he is loved. He looks at me with soulful eyes as if to say “Pinky swear?” In my heart, a heart already threatening to burst, I repeat the words from Sade Adu’s song ‘Babyfather’. “Dude, your daddy’s love comes with a lifetime guaranty. You can rest easy.”



"Franque is in aviation, which by the way is not his job, just a lifestyle. If he ever kept a diary it would read like his articles will. Unfortunately he doesn't. Scratch that. He didn't.AIRtiquette is a walk in his shoes. Since regular isn't in his vocabulary, brace yourself for a bit of airwalking!" Follow @franque_521 on twitter.


  1. Awwww *wipes tears* Bubu is so sweet.

    Erm… Are you really asking where M.O.N.C got it from? Hian! I’m sure he’ll grow up to be just like his father 🙂

  2. Both M.ON.C and Bubu are blessed t have you in their lives. I pray you never let them down. Awesome father that you are.

  3. dear franque,my absence was caused by 3 wks compulsory camp 2 my fada land in sagamu(story 4 another day). I think u shd have a fadahood conference this xmas and @ d end throw a childrens party wt all d kids featured in ya stories.abi wt do u think?

  4. Once, I promised my little cousins I would pick them up to mine the following day. On my way out, just at the gate, my 8 year old cuz whispered ‘Aunty, don’t be like Aunty Kii o, she says she will come and never does’. Though it was funny, I know I never want to be that Aunt.
    Watching kids make an attempt to crawl/walk/stand, can be quite amusing… Thank God you have a chance to experience that first hand…

  5. Awwwww… This is too sweet. It should be illegal for any article to be this peculiarly sweet and mushy! <3 <3

    …And yep!! M.O.N.C is already taken. 😀

  6. Aww. Ditto Nena’s sentiments…

    Watching babies grow and do all their “firsts” is such a beautiful thing to watch and yes i agree that having to disappoint children at times is such a killer…

    A la where M.O.N.C gets his “lady milking ways” from, please… Enough said…:)

    Lovely Franque…

  7. So family, it’s another Friday away from home for me. Still, iFeel at home because we r all connected here on this page.
    @ Chychy: 1st, yay u!!! U mean u kno where he gets it from? Point me to the house address, iHav some ‘talkin to’ to do;
    @ Kay: Don’t wonder anymore, or roll ya eyes for dat matter, Chychy seems to kno where from;
    @ DIVA: U mean it’s capable of runnin dry? Lemme advice him to do it slow slow o;
    @ Sara_taffy: which r u really, WASHERman or IRONman? Thanx, just in case it’s true :D;
    @ MzSwitz: iHope two people cannot be wrong. Thanx dearie;
    @ qhaycee: iWouldn’t hav noticed ur absence if not for Nengie’s “where were u posted” question not gettin a response. Wassap homeboy? Got NYSC stories up on Wednesdays on #LowKey;
    @ ibetapassmynebo: iAm buyin u a box of kleenex for Christmas. Want anythin else?
    @ Olaedo: Nwanne’m nwanyi, iSee u. Daalu so.
    @ Everyone_else: So iHav a Christmas post planned for 2weeks from now, but before den nko? Dunno what to write for next week o. Shebi we can skip one Friday?

  8. Franque leee,*holding ur ears* if u dare to skip one post, you’ve one big ass whooping coming ur way wiv me in the lead abi u want to be like Nengie “Aunty Kii”?! Am sure MONC knows ur love is a life time guarantee no matter what and as for bubu, he knows Uncle Franque will keep his promises to the best of his abilities.

  9. @ Jazz: #9 to be precise, for now. Thanchu;
    @ nengie: there r some kinda grown ups we don’t want to be, and what’s mor, these kids will call u out!
    @ nena: just don’t take it before NASS b4 it attracts a 14yr jail term;
    @ Shadenonconformist: let me say this real quick, it’s a pleasant surprise to see u posted a comment. Thank u. As for what u think u kno, #nuffSed o.

  10. Awwwwwww….. *wipes tear* this is awesome! iGet Uber excited when iKnow ts a fatherWOOD friday!!
    How come iHave met bubu’s mum and havnt met bubu? *side eye*

    M.O.N.C, he’s blessed to have U!! iLove dat dat boy, took after his father, looks nd more!

    PS: had 2 hide in d toilet 2 read dis.. #okbye!

  11. Awwww *Sniff sniff*….As far as i’m concerned,u have two sons,one of your own loins and the other of ur own heart. Chukwu gozie gi with enough resources to help them become great and of course make u proud 😀

  12. @ Mateelly: Considerin that u seem to be the only one who seems to mind, iCan rest easy. U iCan deal with;
    @ Bumble Bee: Sky *mmmmmbaaa!*
    @ Efeya Goodness: thanx for ur kind words, bless ur heart;
    @ Sara_taffy: Let me be ya manager;
    @ Lorlah: seen. As for toilet readin, we also know how u go there to sleep :D;
    @ qhaycee: iHav a retreat planned o, just with the fathers. We don already buy d alcohol sef. Maybe new year for the kids;
    @ Okeoghene: thank you, bless;
    @ Mercy: in dat case my family’s slowly enlargin o;
    @ MaBijo: How do iRespond to this ooooo?

  13. Bros… Don’t EVEN THINK about skipping next week! People might not be saying anything right now but you will find an angry mob in front of your house next friday evening if you try it! Fair warning. #darrisall! Great fatherWOOD as usual~

  14. @ Ready: yay!!! Looooong tym no read(y)! Where have u been hidin o? The major reason for my consistent* writin. Welcome;
    @ Kay: can u plix stop threatenin me? Shebi u r too far to do anythin about it :p;
    @ nengie: iAm gettin u n qhaycee o;
    @ T.L. Bridges: Hian! *now wrackin my brain; gotta do sum’n about Friday*.

  15. Hahahahaha *lmhout*enjoyin d comments. Nice write up bt d last time I checked u were not married hw come a baby? Jst wanderin quite hilarious jst joinin dis crew and am enjoying it everybit keep it up!!

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